We’re here – N42.88995 W8.52406.
Weather – rain showers.
We slept really well in the port car park having learned from our last experience in the noisy port at Finsterre, we used some ear plugs. Couldn’t hear the rain or the odd passing car, but then we’d also chosen our overnight spot a bit more wisely too staying away from the access to the boats. We were woken by the church bells which play a decent tune at 9am (as well as noon and 9pm) and got Dave ready to move on. Satnav wanted to take us on a magical mystery tour around the north west of Spain before reaching Santiago de Compostela, however we could see from our map that some road building had taken place since she was programmed, so we used the maps to get to the town (saving about 50km) and let her take over to find the campsite.
When we arrived Beks and Sonja were just about to head off into the city so we grabbed our stuff and joined them – but not before we threw everything that was still damp, fusty or dirty at the campsite reception for their laundry service.
We walked the 2km to the old town following the shell signs that mark out the pilgrim walk. Once in the town we were surrounded by so many old churches and convents that we thought it best to focus on just one, the final destination of the pilgrims (unless they carry on the new extended route to the lighthouse we visited the other day) – the cathedral. We even saw several pilgrims arrive, many of them overcome with emotion.
Now I’ve been in a few cathedrals over the years, but this one took some beating. I wouldn’t consider myself to be a religious person and most churches give me the heebeegeebees with all those statues and figurines looking down on you, and yes they were all over the place in the cathedral, but that aside, it all looked so beautiful. Like a normal cathedral but on acid.
The photos will never show it well (especially as I had the decency to turn the flash off as there was a mass taking place) but they might give you a bit of an idea as to how ornate it all was. There were also several smaller chapels around the edges where you could pray and put your money in the meter to press a button to light a bulb – personally I think that’s taking modernisation too far and they should go back to real candles.
The strangest thing I saw were the rows of confession booths. Some even had a light on top so you would know when the priest was in. But here there was no privacy for the person confessing, they knelt on the outside of the booth!
The rest of the gang from the night out in San Francisco arrived during the afternoon and we had a walk down to the shopping centre for supplies – it’s a bank holiday tomorrow and Thursday we think, so suspect things will be closed – but not before I collected our laundry. It was like I’d won the lottery; clean, dry and still slightly warm clothes all neatly folded, even the socks were paired, I was so happy. Of course I won’t be winning the Spanish lottery as after queuing for a ticket earlier today I walked away when I found out they were €20 each!
We’re all heading off for a few beers at the campsite bar now, hopefully it won’t get too messy!